[gpfsug-discuss] Handling bad file names in policies?

Jonathan Buzzard jonathan.buzzard at strath.ac.uk
Sat Oct 9 10:09:22 BST 2021

On 08/10/2021 19:14, Wahl, Edward wrote:

> This goes back as far as I can recall to <=GPFS 3.5 days. And no, I
> cannot recall what version of TSM-EE that was.   But newline has been
> the only stopping point, for what seems like forever. Having filed
> many an mmbackup bug, I don't recall ever crashing on filenames.
> (tons of OTHER reasons, but not character set)   We even generate an
> error report from this and email users to fix it. We accept basically
> almost everything else, and I have to say, we see some really crazy
> things sometimes.   I think my current favorite is the full windows
> paths as a filename. (eg:
> "Y:\Temp\temp\290\work\0\Material_ERTi-5.in" )

I will have to do a test but I am sure newlines have worked just fine in 
the past. At the very least they have not stopped an entire backup from 
working when using dsmc incr.

Now mmbackup that's a different kettle of fish. If you have not seen 
mmbackup fail entirely because of a random "special" character you 
simply have not been using it long enough :-)

For the longest of times I would simply not go anywhere near it because 
it was not fit for purpose.

> Current IBM documentation doesn't go backwards past 4.2 but it says:
> "For IBM Spectrum Scale™ file systems with special characters
> frequently used in the names of files or directories, backup failures
> might occur. Known special characters that require special handling
> include: *, ?, ", ’, carriage return, and the new line character.
> In such cases, enable the Tivoli Storage Manager client options
> in backup activities and make sure that the mmbackup option --noquote
> is used when invoking mmbackup."
> So maybe we could handle newlines somehow.   But my lazy searches
> didn't show what TSM doesn't accept.

We strongly advise our users (our GPFS file system is for an HPC system) 
in training not to use "special" characters. That is followed with a 
warning that if they do then we don't make any promises to backup their 
files :-)

 From time to time I run a dsmc incr in a screen and capture the output 
to a log file and then look at the list of failed files and prompt users 
to "fix" them. Though sometimes I just "fix" them myself if the 
correction is going to be obvious and then email them to tell them what 
has happened.


Jonathan A. Buzzard                         Tel: +44141-5483420
HPC System Administrator, ARCHIE-WeSt.
University of Strathclyde, John Anderson Building, Glasgow. G4 0NG

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